A SPECIAL REPORT
OMOTION AND IMPROVEMENT
THE PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO
Port Promotion Program Committkk
SAN FUANCISCO CIIAMBKU OK CX>MMKUCK
CITY AND COU.N'i
A SPECIAL REPORT
PROMOTION AND IMPROVEMENT
THE PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO
Port Promotion Program Committkk
SA.N FUANCISOO CIIAMBKU OK COMMKHC K
3 8 7 . 1097 DEPARTM^rj 1 ■.
Sa5 2 9 ^'"^^ AND COU.W
Not to be taken from the Library
SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY
MIL 1 5 1996
Special Report: September 8, 1950
3 1223 04288 3232
To: Board of Directors, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
From: Port Promotion Program Committee
Subject: Promotion and Improvement of The Port of San Francisco
TABLE OF CONTENTS
STRUCTURE OF REPORT 12
PORT PROMOTION PROGRAM COMMITTEE 13
THE PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO 20
FACILITIES , 22
OTHER SAN FRANCISCO BAY REGION PORTS 32
CARRIER AND TERMINAL RATES AND CHARGES 34
CARRIER AND TERMINAL FACILITIES AND SERVICES 37
FREIGHT HANDLING 39
LAB OR -MANAGEMENT RELATIONS 40
SURVEYS AND REPORTS 41
TRAFFIC SOLICITATION 42
PUBLICITY AND ADVERTISING 44
CITY AMn r-ntrMi
REF 387.1097 Sa529
San Francisco Chamber
A special report,
S.F. PUW^' MBRARY*
3 1223 04288 3232
* Special Report: September 8, 1950
To: Board of Directors, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
From: Port Promotion Program Committee
Subject: Promotion and Improvement of the Port of San Francisco (S^lmmary)
SUMMARY: This is the report of a special committee of the San Francisco Cham-
ber of Commerce appointed pursuant to a recommendation by the Chamber's
World Trade Committee to inquire into the status of the Port of San Francisco and,
if found advisable, to suggest ways and means for the Port's further promotion and
improvement. Following is a summary of the Committee's findings in two parts
Conclusions; and Recommendations:
(1) Port Potential: If San Francisco is to fulfill its destiny as one of the
world's great ports during the Pacific era which looms with the beginning
of the second half of the twentieth century, the entire community must
unite in support of a broad program having these objectives:
(a) Further improvement of Port and terminal facilities in accordance
with a master plan to reflect the advantages of technological and
(b) Constant alertness to and betterment of all carrier and terminal
tariff items which can be used to influence the movement of passen-
gers and freight through San Francisco;
(c) Increased traffic and consequent general employment throughout the
commiinity through the formulation and execution of coordinated
* Approved by the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
at a regular meeting on September 21, 1950.
solicitation, publicity, advertising and other promotional activities.
(2) Traffic: Traffic through the Port of San Francisco during the past
several years has been less in absolute as well as relative (to other
ports) volumes than it was during World War II or ten years ago or twenty
The decline was caused by a complexity of factors mostly beyond the
control of local port or other authorities. Factors which have particularly
influenced the decline in San Francisco may be enxomerated like this:
(a) Greater competition from other San Francisco Bay ports and Pacific,
Gulf and Atlantic coast ports;
(b) War and economic upheavals throughout the world with consequent
effects on the volume, control of shipping, and routing of traffic,
especially with the Orient;
(c) Local labor xinrest which during the past twenty months has been
demonstrated to be a thing of the past on the San Francisco water-
Affecting traffic through all ports are the following:
(d) The advent and increasing utilization of the motor truck and trailer
and improved highways;
(e) Increasing costs of water transportation and marine terminal
(f) The practice on the part of merchants and manufacturers to maintain
smaller inventories than in the past, thereby causing them to use
freight services faster than those by water; conversely, due to
shortages of raw material, faster freight service by land was de-
manded and secured.
While it has not been the Comnnittee's fimction to measure the full poten-
tials of traffic for the Port, its members were told that competent efforts
will reverse the trend and be rewarded by constantly increasing voliimes
of traffic in the future that will more than justify the time, effort and ex-
pense as nations on the Pacific Basin and throughout the world enter
their eras of greatest development,
(3) Control: Whether the San Francisco waterfront and Harbor are controlled
by the state , the city or a special district authority, it is the opinion of
your Committee that the same problems discussed in this report with re-
gard to improvements, operations and promotion will prevail and require
united community effort for proper solution.
(4) Competition: Having in mind the welfare of other ports on San Francisco
Bay and carriers by rail, truck and air as well as by water, the Commit-
tee believes that, without bias in reference to modes of transportation or
the ports of the Bay, San Francisco may well assiime leadership in activ-
ities that will attract all of that ocean commerce via the Port of San
Francisco to which its location, facilities, services and rates entitle it
and which will afford the greatest efficiencies and economies for shippers.
Fundamentally, San Francisco cannot progress without the progress
of the entire Bay Area and, as the community grows and prospers from
ocean commerce, the volumes of traffic for land and air carriers will
(5) Carrier and Terminal Rates and Charges: The Committee's purpose was
not to make extended carrier and terminal rate studies, but its investiga-
tion did lead to two major conclusions if the Port is to secure the traffic
essential to the commianity's prosperity and employment:
(a) All factors considered, rates and charges pertaining to passenger
and freight movements via the Port of San Francisco must be at
least equal to or less than corresponding rates and charges apply-
ing on movements via other ports;
(b) While unfavorable disparities in rates and charges have been known
to exist and have been the subjects of repeated discussions and some
improvement, greater cooperation between carriers and others in-
terested is needed to correct various rates and charges which have
handicapped the Port,
Therefore, any promotional program must be foiinded on searching in-
quiries and well-defined procedures to assure that fully competitive rates
and charges apply on movements to, from and through the Port.
(6) Carrier and Terminal Facilities and Services: Over the years, excellent
marine terminal facilities have been provided on the San Francisco
waterfront which is served by a multiplicity of railroad, truck, steam-
ship, cargo-handling and passenger-serving companies. That progress is
continuing is evidenced by railroad improvements, new steamships, more
efficient truck equipment, the introduction of improved cargo-handling
equipment, the Foreign Trade Zone, shipside refrigeration facilities, the
Islais Creek grain terminal^ the improvement of Mission Rock and other-
However, a number of piers show the ravages of age and do not lend
themselves to the most modern and economical passenger and freight
handling practices. In addition to the solution of many current problems.
attention should be given to a long-range program of waterfront improve-
ments in accordance with a master plan to be geared to traffic demands,
new technologies and financing capacity.
(Because the Port of San Francisco is an enterprise of the State govern-
ment, it is the responsibility of the Board of State Harbor Commissioners
and the Legislature immediately to initiate such steps as necessary to
finance new and improved port and terminal facilities vmder an accelerated
program commensurate with the opportunities to attract and develop
(7) Labor-Management Relations: Working conditions and wages for San
Francisco waterfront workers have been vastly improved during the past
decade, and during the past two years it has been demonstrated that
waterfront labor conditions can be stabilized and stoppages avoided.
Shippers everywhere should be informed of this.
Labor has become conscious of its responsibilities and dependence on
the shipping public and has forcefully expressed its desire to contribute
to stimulated growth and progress by participation in promotional activi-
ties designed to stabilize conditions and increase waterfront employment
(8) Surveys and Reports: In the course of the Committee's work, it was ob-
served that many organizations are compiling and publishing, to one de-
gree or another, statistical and other information about water commerce
and harbor operations. However, too little has been done to make data
from different sources available and in comparable terms.
Therefore, steps should be taken to coordinate and interpret statistical
and other information from the Harbor Board, Department of the Army,
Department of Commerce, and other agencies, in order that it may be
disseminated in readily usable form for the information of the public
and the guidance of port authorities and shippers.
(9) Traffic Solicitation and Development: The principal solicitation of traffic
has been conducted in the past by carriers, both land and water, serving
San Francisco. The effectiveness of this solicitation can be improved by
better information and coordination. This work has been supplemented by
limited traffic solicitation by the Harbor Board which, however, is handi-
capped by state requirements and procedures. Additional support by
community agencies can bring about marked improvement in this field.
Close cooperation between the Harbor Board and the Chamber's In-
dustrial Department in efforts to attract new factories to San Francisco
should result in creating new tonnage and traffic for the Port, since new
industries which process foreign materials or produce for export fit
naturally into the Port pattern.
In this connection, the Committee received testimony from exporters
to the effect that there is substantial opportunity for increase in the ex-
port of products maniifactured in the area tributary to the Port.
(10) Publicity and Advertising: Publicity and advertising on behalf of the Port
of San Francisco has not seemed to impress potential shippers with its
effectiveness, although substantial sums have been spent annually, partic-
ularly by the Board of State Harbor Commissioners.
The Committee was informed that there is an opportunity for great
improvement in the field of relations with the press and the public as
these relate to the day-to-day operation of the Port. These improved re-
lations can be mechanized by better coordination of news releases, adver-
tising, sponsored periodicals and other media.
While the necessity of security measures is recognized and may be
controlling at the moment, the general public interest in shipping and the
waterfront may be stimulated by affording the average citizen more
opportvmities to familiarize himself with waterfront operations and facil-
ities. If the progress of the waterfront is essential to the welfare of the
average citizen, then definite steps should be taken, under normal condi-
tions, to have him so informed about the Port's activities and prosperity
that he can "help tell the world".
RECOMMENDATIONS: By its very nature, the Committee was limited to an objec-
tive study of the position of the Port and its potentials in the field of promotion. It
became convinced that no such study group could hope to do more than point out the
needs, and that promotion of the Port calls for community- wide support of an action
program so set up as to insure an aggressive, resourceful and \mremitting drive
toward maximum development.
The Committee recommends that an agency be created to revitalize and promote
the welfare and progress of the Port of San Francisco by coordinating all of the
efforts now being made to sponsor additional efforts to capture all of the traffic
which may benefit by movement through the Port of San Francisco.
The agency should be established as a department of the San Francisco Chamber
of Commerce and its functions integrated with other departments such as Civic
Development, Domestic Trade, Industrial, Public Affairs, Publicity, Research,
Transportation and World Trade, all of which are already active to one degree or
another in behalf of the Porto The Department should be under the direction of a
permanent Port Promotion Committee to be appointed by the President of the
The Committee wishes to emphasize that it believes the ultimate success of the
program is directly contingent upon the composition of the committee responsible
for carrying outs its recommendations. It is therefore recommended that the
President of the Chamber consult with and draw upon all interested organizations
and agencies, including the Mayor, for suggested and recommended committee
Criteria for committee membership should include deep interest in the Port,
overall vision and viewpoint and leadership in comm\inity affairs. Appointees
should be chosen on a city-wide, top-level basis and not limited to Chamber mem-
Membership: Membership on the Committee should include representatives of:
- The Board of State Harbor Commissioners
- The City and County of San Francisco
- Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers
- Importers and exporters
- Railroad, steamship, truck and airline companies
- The Marine Exchange
- Banks and insurance companies
- Labor unions
- Traffic and civic organizations
- Statistical organizations
- Publishers and advertising agencies
- Warehousemen, customhouse brokers and freight forwarders
- Engineers and builders
Organization: Under the leadership of a general chairman, the Port Promotion
Committee should be divided into six sections, the chairmen of which, with the
general chairman, should constitute an executive committee. The sections
would be as follows:
- Carrier and Terminal Rates and Charges
- Carrier and Terminal Facilities and Services
- Labor-Management Relations
- Surveys and Reports
- Traffic Solicitation
- Publicity and Advertising
The fxinctions of the respective sections are reflected by their names and would
be coordinative and supplemental.
Staff: As a minimiim, the department should be staffed by two persons, one a
manager and the other, secretarial. So far as available, the manager should be
a man experienced in traffic matters, port development, publicity and advertis-
ing, business solicitation and organizational work. Additional staffing is not
proposed at this time as the Committee believes that a great pool of manpower
is available through the coordinating of existing organizations, volunteer workers
and the Chamber.
Program: Creation and operation of the department should proceed in this order
(1) Engagement of staff
(2) Appointment of Committee and Sections
(3) Committee and Section Organization and Orientation
(4) Formulation of Program by Sections
(5) Execution of Program by Sections
(6) Direct Traffic Solicitation
(7) Publicity and Advertising
Budget: The Committee considers the establishment of a budget for the pro-
posed department to be a function of Chamber management, but does have
comment on two aspects of this subject.
First of all, budget items should cover salaries, traveling expenses, the
preparation, production, and distribution of Port brochures and a periodical for
those who control traffic routings; and overhead, including office supplies, post-
age, telephone services, publications, etc
Secondly, in addition to funds which the Chamber makes available for the
Port promotion budget, special contributions should be regularly provided by
the Board of State Harbor Commissioners, the City and Coiinty of San Francisco,
and others, including business and labor, having a special interest in the future
of the Port, such special funds to be specifically budgeted and accounted for.
# # # #
Special Report: September 8, 1950
To: Board of Directors, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
From: Port Promotion Program Committee
Subject: Promotion and Improvement of the Port of San Francisco
INTRODUCTION: This is a report of the findings, conclusions and recommenda-
tions of a special committee of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce appointed
by President Henry E. North on October 13, 1949. Appointment of the Committee
was in accordance with action taken by the Chamber's Board of Directors on
October 6, 1949 on a recommendation from the Chamber's World Trade Committee
"that the Board of Directors approve and initiate establishment of a top-level group
under direct sponsorship of the Chamber, representing shippers, rail, ocean and
air carriers, manxifacturers , the city, labor and civic groups, to initiate a program
for the coordination of Port improvement and promotion."
In planning to give effect to the Board's action, and in view of the complexities
of Port improvement and promotion, the Committee determined that it should make
a careful and objective inquiry into matters pertaining to the improvement, opera-
tion and promotion of the Port of San Francisco in order to determine the views of
all possible interested groups and to formulate a more detailed plan of procedure
than that contained in the report made by the World Trade Committee.
Therefore, this report is not so much a description of San Francisco's Port
facilities, traffic and operations, as it is a statement of facts, observations, con-
clusions, and recommendations with reference to a program of utmost unportance
to the entire community.
STRUCTURE OF REPORT: In approaching this assignment, the Committee pos-
sessed rather broad information concerning the Port of San Francisco and other
San Francisco Bay ports and the subject of water commerce. In order to become
fully informed about subjects pertaining to the Port from different viewpoints, the
Committee invited representatives of a wide number of groups to meet with it. At
each of the Committee's meetings, a great variety of subjects was discussed and
points were made respecting harbor management, the Port's facilities, steamship
services, facilities and rates, land carrier facilities, services and rates, labor-
management relations, and other subjects.
So that information developed by the Committee might have an organized pat-
tern, this report first gives details about the Committee, its membership, meet-
ings, and witnesses, then provides background information about the Port of San
Francisco and other ports on San Francisco Bay and finally presents information
tinder six headings, representing the major subjects developed at the meetings, as
- Carrier and Terminal Rates and Charges
- Carrier and Terminal Facilities and Services
- Labor-Management Relations
- Surveys and Reports
- Traffic Solicitation
- Publicity and Advertising
Thus, this is not a chronological report of the Committee's meetings, but it does
reflect what are considered to be the major points made at these sessions
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The Committee desires to take this occasion to express
its appreciation of the fine spirit of cooperation and interest in the welfare of the
Port and the commtmity evidenced by all of the persons who met with it. Without
the cooperation of these many witnesses, the Committee could not have fxinctioned.
The Committee also had the whole-hearted assistance of Chamber staff repre-
sentatives and John H. Robinson, Chairman of the Port Promotion Committee of the
Junior World Trade Association of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
PORT PROMOTION PROGRAM COMMITTEE: Members of the Port Promotion
Program Committee were as follows, with the names of staff representatives who
have worked with it:
Dwight Ko Grady, Chairman
Rosenberg Bros. & Co., Inc.
230 California Street
Gerald A. Dundon, Vice-Chairman
Pope & Talbot, Inc.
320 California Street
W. F. Minehan
Bank of America, N.T. & S.A.
300 Montgomery Street
Ira S. Lillick
Lillick, Geary, Olson, Adams & Charles
311 California Street
Fred B. Galbreath
Marine Office of America
140 Sansome Street
To R. Jamieson
Otis, McAllister and Company
310 Sansome Street
M. J. McCarthy
Berry & McCarthy
260 California Street
John H. Robinson
Harper, Robinson & Co.
510 Battery Street
Paul A. Bissinger (Ex-Officio)
Bissinger & Co.
Davis and Pacific Streets
Henry E, North (Ex-Officio)
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
600 Stockton Street
Chamber Staff On Committee:
G, L. Fox, General Manager
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
Walter A. Rohde, Manager
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
Alvin Co Eichholz, Manager
World Trade Department
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
Robert H„ Langner, Assistant Manager
World Trade Department
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
Secretary, Port Promotion Program Committee
Following is a detailed list of twenty meetings held, major subjects considered
and the fifty- seven guests:
Nov. 29, 1949 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: Initial Committee meeting to outline operation and
Dec. 9, 1949
San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:00 Noon
Agenda: To meet with Representatives of the Board of State
Guests: B. Jo Feigenbaxam, President, Board of State Harbor
W. P. Fuller Brawner, Commissioner
W. G. Welt, Commissioner
Carl Smith, Secretary of the Board
Dwight L. Merriman, First Vice President,
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
Dec. 20, 1949 - Room 306, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Building -
Agenda: Joint meeting with Chamber Merchant Marine and Harbor
Committee to discuss shipping and related matters with
Mr. Frank Pellegrini, Chief Counsel for Sub-Committee
on Merchant Marine and Maritime Matters of U.S. Senate
Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce.
Jan. 10, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P„M.,
Agenda: To discuss viewpoint and policy of the City regarding
Guests: City Officials:
Hon. Elmer E. Robinson, Mayor of San Francisco
Francis V. Keesling, Jr., Washington Legal Representa-
tive, City and Co\inty of San Francisco
Donald W. Cleary, State Legislative Representative, City
and County of San Francisco
Jan. 27, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: To discuss problems confronting shippers' traffic
Guests: Traffic Managers:
R. F. Ahern, Traffic Manager, Rosenberg Bros. & Co., Inc.
A. T. Eche, District Manager, F. W. Woolworth Company
W. F. Krause, Assistant Traffic Manager, Crown
P. S. Labagh, Assistant Traffic Director, California
James L. Roney, Traffic Manager, S. 8e W. Fine Foods, Inc
L. H. Wolters, Traffic Manager, Golden State Company, Ltd
Feb. 3, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: To discuss cargo handling problems from the local dray-
mens' point of view.
Guests.: City Draying Companies' Representatives:
Russell Bevans, Secretary-Manager, Draymen's Associa-
tion of San Francisco
George D. Hart, Vice President, Farnsworth & Ruggles
George Patton, Manager, Drayage Department, Haslett
Li. B. Raymond, Vice President, Overland Freight
Feb. 10, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: To discuss long haul trucking to and from the Port.
Guests: Contract Truck Operators:
C. A. Baker, Northern Division Manager, Fortier
Transportation Co., Richmond
David L. Ditto, Manager , V.Lippolis Draying Co., San Jose
Donald A. Mitchell, Partner, Riske Trucking Co.,
Feb. 17, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: To discuss warehouse relationships to Port traffic.
Guests: Warehouse Representatives:
J. W. Howell, Vice President, Haslett Warehouse Co.
Irving Culver, President, Turner- Whittel Warehouse, Inc.
H. F. Hiller, President, San Francisco Warehouse Co.
Feb. 28, 1950 - Room 206, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Building -
Agenda: Discussion of pier receiving problems with special
Guests: B. L. Legg, Richmond Chase Company, San Jose
C. E. Nordling, Terminal Superintendent, American
Zane A. Stickel, Zane A. Stickel & Co.
Mar. 3, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: To discuss trans -pacific traffic.
Guests: Pacific Westbound Conference Members:
W. K. Varcoe, Vice President, American President Lines
George E. Tahnadge, Vice President, Pacific Transport
A. L. Wise, Traffic Manager, Kerr Steamship Co.
E. L. Bargones, Vice President & General Manager,
Transpacific Transportation Co.
Mar. 10, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: To discuss European and Latin American traffic.
Guests: Members of the European and Latin American Conferences;
R. F. Bur ley, Secretary-Chairman, Latin American
John F. McArt, General Chairman, Pacific Coast,
European Conference and various Latin American
L. I. McKim, Traffic Manager, General Steamship
Mar. 17, 1950 - San Francisco Comnnercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: A discussion of labor's viewpoint on Port situation.
Guests: Union Representatives:
Philip C. Sandlin, President, International Longshore-
men's & Warehousemen's Union
Eddie Tangen, National Secretary-Treasurer, National
Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards
Paul Pinsky, Research Director, National Union of
Marine Cooks and Stewards
Mar. 24, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: A discussion of labor's viewpoint on the Port situation.
Guests: Union Representative:
Daniel Sweeney, Business Representative, Teamsters'
Mar. 31, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: Reports on New Orleans.
Apr. 14, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: A discussion of railroads' relationship to the Port.
Guests: Railroad Traffic Managers:
Herman W. Klein, Freight Traffic Manager, Southern
H. A. Lawrence, Traffic Manager, Union Pacific Railroad
Berne Levy, General Freight Agent, Atchison, Topeka &
Santa Fe Railway Co.
M. W. Roper, Freight Traffic Manager, Western Pacific
Apr. 28, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: A discussion of Port from Harbor-wide viewpoint.
Guests: A. A. Moran, Chairman, Maritime Committee of Bay Area
M. A, Cremer, Executive Secretary, Marine Exchange
A. C. Meadows, Assistant Traffic Manager, Port of
Gen. Robert H. Wylie, Port Manager, Board of State
June 9, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: A discussion of exporters' problems.
James S. Baker, James S. Baker Co.
Daniel Polak, Partner, Polak, Winters & Co.
Justin Radin, Wilbur-Ellis Company
June 16, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: A discussion of intercoastal and coastwise traffic prob-
Guests: Coastwise & Intercoastal Representatives:
C. R. Nicker son, Secretary-Manager, Pacific Coastwise
Charles Lynch, Freight Traffic Manager, Coastwise Line
R. F. Burley, Intercoastal & Coastwise Traffic Expert
June 23, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: A discussion of press and public relations of the Port.
Guests: Newspaper Representatives:
Frank Clarvoe, Editor, SAN FRANCISCO NEWS
Randolph Hearst, Publisher, CALL-BULLETIN
Clarence Lindner, Publisher, SAN FRANCISCO
Thor M. Smith, Assistant Publisher, CALL-BULLETIN
Newton Wise, Editor, DAILY COMMERCIAL NEWS
Jvme 30, 1950 - San Francisco Commercial Club - 12:10 P.M.
Agenda: Review and planning by Committee.
THE PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO : The harbor and public marine terminal facilities
located in the City and County of San Francisco are operated as an enterprise of
the State of California under the direction of a Board of State Harbor Commissioners
appointed by the Governor. Current members of the Board are: B. J.Feigenbaum,
Chairman; W. P. Fuller Brawner, and W.G.Welt. General Robert H. Wylie is the
Port Manager and the Board's chief administrative officer. He directs the admin-
istrative, operating and engineering staff of the Board.
CONTROL: The Board of State Harbor Commissioners is guided in its improve-
ment and operations of the Port of San Francisco by the State Harbors and Navi-
gation Code under the terms of which the bases of rentals for its facilities must
be reasonable, it appearing that the Board must pro-rate its costs of operations
among the users of the Port and Board properties. The Board is not required to
make a profit from the use of its facilities but its rates must be compensatory
and it is expected to derive sufficient revenues to service the debt created
through bond issues to finance the Port's improvements. In this respect, the
Board's problems differ materially from those of other ports where improve-
ment bond issues are generally serviced from tax revenues.
Over the years many questions have been raised as to whether control of the
Port of San Francisco should be transferred from the State to the City and
County of San Francisco, to a harbor district, or to some other port authority.
At the 1949 session of the California State Legislature, by resolution, a
Senate Fact- Finding Committee on Establishing a Port Authority for San Fran-
cisco Bay was created. This committee commenced a series of hearings early
this year and will make a report to the 1951 Legislature, The subject assigned
to it is being explored by the committee and the results of its work will merit
the most serious consideration by all interests concerned with the welfare of
all of the ports on San Francisco Bay,
Questions pertaining to legal control of the Port were discussed at length by
various witnesses who met with the Port Promotion Program Committee^ How-
ever, the Committee believes questions of legal control in the operation of the
Port are of secondary importance and that the primary concern is the active
development of the Port through improvement, promotion, expansion of service,
and the like, regardless of what the controlling entity may be.
The task before us is a challenge to the entire community and the job to be
done will be a commiinity responsibility.
COMPETITION: Competition in which the Port is involved may be said to have
two major aspects - one relating to other ports including those on San Francisco
Bay, the other relating to the different modes of transportation available to
Questions as to San Francisco's relationship with other ports in the San
Francisco Bay Region were considered at length by the Committee and its guests.
It was the conclusion of the Committee that San Francisco should provide the
leadership to attract additional commerce to San Francisco Bay, it being the
objective of San Francisco interests to sell shippers on using those port facili-
ties in the Bay Area which meet their requirements most efficiently and econom
ically with the expectation that San Francisco will get that share of the business
to which it is entitled.
The Committee further believes that increased voltime of business for rail,
truck and air carriers serving San Francisco will result from overall increases
in traffic which may be developed through the Port.
FACILITIES: The facilities under control of the Board of State Harbor Commis-
sioners consist of 56 piers and quay wharves, which have been augmented by the
huge new Mission Rock Terminal, and the State Belt Railroad which serves the
waterfront and adjacent properties. In addition, there are specially-equipped
terminals for handling bulk and sacked grain, bulk copra and other oil-bearing
materials, bananas, refrigerated cargo and lumber.
While a number of new piers and commodity terminals have been built in the
last two decades, and several of the older piers are adequate for the types of
business they are handling, others are antiquated and inadequate for the econom
ical handling of large cargoes.
The finger-type piers which predominate on the San Francisco waterfront ar
not generally as suitable for the receipt and delivery of cargo by truck as other
port facilities in the Bay Area. The Committee has heard much criticism from
both shippers and truckmen on this score.
Mission Rock Terminal, which has been leased by the American President
Lines, will provide ideal truck access and this problem will also be met through
improvements being made by the enlargement of piers 30 and 32 for the Matson
Navigation Company. Here the intervening slip will be decked over to provide
tailgate loading and unloading and facilities for improved turn-around for trucks
as well as large additional cargo-handling space.
Many persons who met with the Committee commended the Board of State
Harbor Commissioners for the establishment of the Foreign Trade Zone, the
Mission Rock Terminal, the specially-equipped commodity terminals and the
modernization of the Matson Piers. These facilities were said to have brought
in and will continue to bring in large new tonnages to the Port.
TRAFFIC: In terms of general cargo statistics, the Port of San Francisco is
the Pacific Coast's leading port. On the other hand, overall traffic data are
difficult to analyze and aggregate tonnage figures are sometimes misleading.
However, it is significant to note that total traffic through the Port has tended to
decline since 1930.
Decreased volumes through San Francisco have been caused by a variety of
technological, economic and international factors, largely beyond the control of
Tonnages over San Francisco docks (excluding carferry traffic, bulk oil.
sand, gravel, etc.) have been as follows:
Trade (in tons)
Foreign and Offshore
Peak Year Tonnages in Various Trades,
Compared to 1949, (War Years Excluded)
Foreign and Offshore
II II II
It will be observed that San Francisco's greatest tonnage losses have occurred
in the inland waterway and coastwise trades- This condition is not peculiar to
San Francisco. All port facilities on San Francisco Bay experienced connparable
losses in these trades, and all ports on the Pacific Coast shared in the loss of
coastwise business. The trucks, which give faster and more complete service,
have taken over most of the inland waterway traffic, and together with the age
and mounting operating costs of river steamers and barges, have caused the al-
most complete disappearance of these craft.
Coastwise operations between California ports have ceased altogether, and
there is only very limited operation between California and ports in Oregon and
Washington. In 1930, there were 147 vessels in the coastwise trade. Today
there are 11. The operators claim that the decline of this trade is due primarily
to unduly low rail rates approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
which rendered it impossible for the operators to raise their own rates sviffi-
ciently to nneet greatly increased costs of labor, fuel and supplies. Other stated
factors are lack of effective regulation, strikes and frequent interruptions of
service, age of the vessels, unbalanced movement because the northbound ton-
nage was always lighter than the southbound, the decline of the lumber traffic
because of depletion of timber in the Puget Sound -Columbia River areas and
truck competition. Finally, it is stated that while the great majority of the
freight vessels in this service prior to 1940 cost between $50,000 and $250,000
each, the only vessels that can now be purchased cost upward of a half -million
Intercoastal: The drop in San Francisco's inter coastal inboxind tonnage is
accovmted for largely by the overall decline of this trade. Prior to the war,
there were about 150 vessels in the intercoastal fleet, compared to 56 at
present. The operators ascribe this decline primarily to low rail rates be-
tween the Pacific Coast and territory tributary to the Atlantic and Gulf
Coasts. Although all of these rail rates have been increased very substan-
tially in recent years, the water lines have been forced to increase their
rates in proportion to meet rising costs of labor, fuel and supplies. It is
claimed that prior to the war, they were able to reach inland several hundred
miles for desirable cargo but now the distance is not much more than one
hiindred miles. High stevedoring costs, excessive Panama Canal tolls and
the high capital cost of vessels for operation in this trade are other factors.
Public confidence in the stability of the service has not been restored entirely,
as many shippers remember interruptions through strikes and work stoppages,
and some are still hesitant about shipping Christmas or other seasonal
merchandise for that reason.
San Francisco's loss of outbound inter coastal tonnage is far greater in
proportion than the general decline of the trade. Much of this tonnage, princi-
pally canned goods and dried fruit, has been diverted to the East Bay ternai-
nals and Stockton in the past twenty years <, Some of the factors responsible
for this diversion are lower land carrier rates from producing points immed-
iately tributary to the East Bay and Stockton, the concentration of canning and
dried fruit plants there, multiple berth operation which allows a shipper to
deliver at one terminal several consignments for different steamship lines,
shipside storage and very active solicitation. Also, as previously mentioned,
the East Bay and Stockton terminals are more accessible by truck and fewer
delays are encountered there.
The Board of State Harbor Commissioners has for the past 20 years or
more attempted to meet the multiple berth problem. Its Belt Railroad Tariff
permits cars containing cargo for ocean movement from points outside of San
Francisco to be switched to three different piers without extra switching
charge. The Board also leased part of its facilities to the State Terminal Co.,
and the Golden Gate Terminals, which conducted operations similar to those
of the East Bay terminals, which operations were only partly successful and
which were discontinued during the last war. Similarly, leasing of facilities
to the Islais Creek Grain Corporation permits shipside storage of both bulk
and sacked grain. The Board cannot directly engage in shipside storage as it
is prohibited from doing so by law.
Imports: The decline in imports is partially accounted for by world conditions,
including loss of production in war-devastated countries and by economic
disturbances in those and other coiintries. The greatest loss is fovmd in im-
ports from Continental Europe, but substantial declines are also noted in the
tonnage from the United Kingdom, Japan, China, India and Indonesia^ To a
lesser extent there have been declines in importation of various commodities
such as raw silk, burlap, tung oil and chemicals, due to the development of
United States production or substitutes , An example of the former is the pro-
duction of tung oil in the southern states.
. On the other hand, imports from South America increased very materially
in the interim between 1928 and 1949, notably imports of green coffee, ores
and concentrates and crude petroleiam. The ores and the petroleum, while in-
cluded in the figures for the San Francisco Customs District, are handled
mainly over privately-owned docks up the Bay,
In the intervening years, the import tonnage for San Francisco proper
fluctuated considerably, and the reports of the Army Engineers show similar
fluctuations for other United States ports and for the nation. The most drastic
fluctuations occurred at New York, which had 21,665,727 tons in 1941, only
9,351,036 in 1942, and 15,119,544 in 1943.
The Army figures for 1947, the latest available, indicate that all major
Pacific Coast ports have lost in their volume of imports since 1930, except
Long Beach which was a relatively undeveloped port in that year. Using the
same years as a basis, the ports of Baltimore, Hampton Roads and Philadel-
phia appear to have made important gains, with New Orleans and Boston gain-
ing more moderately and New York showing considerable loss. Houston,
Beaumont and Baton Rouge also showed losses. Here again there were violent
fluctuations. Houston had 380,793 tons in 1930 and 275,400 in 1947 but in the
interim had 1,457,943 in 1940 and only 73,479 in 1945.
Standing alone, the Army's tonnage figures for the various ports do not
afford a reliable index. They are not broken down by country of origin and
further include vast tonnage of bulk commodities which are usually dis-
charged at privately-owned docks. To determine why the Port of San Francis-
co has lost import tonnage and whether it was lost to other ports is a difficult
tasko The answers, to the extent that they can be found at all, must be found
in a comparison of San Francisco's tonnage with that of other major ports,
commodity by commodity and year by year, and such comparisons must be
weighed against world trade conditions to be of any value.
Exports: San Francisco's tonnage of outbound foreign and off-shore cargo for
the year 1949 is only 80,000 tons below that of 1929 which was the peak year
prior to the war years, when the tonnage mounted to an all-time high of
5,355,897 in 1945. It declined to 2,513,541 in 1946, rose again to 3,178,823
in 1947 and fell back to 2,043,968 in 1948. While, as stated in connection with
imports, the tonnage at all ports may fluctuate widely in different years, the
above fluctuations in San Francisco's tonnage are largely due to falling off of
wartime traffic and to labor disturbances. In 1946, the sailors were out from
September 5 to September 24. The deck officers and engineers struck on
October 1 and went back to work November 23. In 1948, the longshoremen,
cooks and stewards and other crafts were on strike from September 2 to
December 6„ Two major strikes in 1949 also affected San Francisco's tonnage
adversely. The I.L.W.U. warehousemen were out from June 15 to October 1.
The Hawaiian longshoremen's strike lasted from May 1 to October 6. Since
Hawaiian tonnage is included in the Harbor Board's foreign and off-shore
figures, it is apparent that a much better showing would have been made by
San Francisco in 1949 if labor peace had prevailed throughout the year.
As to other ports, Army Engineers' figures from 1930 to 1947, indicate
spectacular gains in export tonnage were made by Hampton Roads, Baltimore
and Philadelphia, but examination shows that the gains were due mostly to
unprecedented shipments of coal and grain for relief purposes. To a lesser
extent, this is also true of New Orleans and Mobile. Some coal was also ex-
ported from Long Beach, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle during 1947.
Comparison of the 1949 San Francisco Customs District figures with
those of 1929 indicate substantial drops in exports to the United Kingdom,
Continental Europe, Australia and Canada. Gains are indicated in the case of
the Philippine Islands, the Persian Gulf area, India, Japan and Africa.
The commodity showing the greatest decline is barley. In 1929, the
United Kingdom took 221,777 tons, while the record shows no shipments to the
United Kingdom in 1949. Some declines are also noted in canned goods and
dried fruit, but shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables have increased, al-
though not enough to offset the drop in canned and dried. Increases are noted
in cotton, canned milk, iron and steel, and fertilizers.
The loss of export tonnage of canned goods and dried fruit shown by Cus-
toms District figures probably fell almost entirely on San Francisco. Indica-
tions are that the East Bay terminals have maintained their voliime of these
commodities, which is borne out by the fact that certain lines in the European
trade, which are heavy carriers of these commodities, load only at the East
As with imports, the tonnage of export commodities that may flow through
a port is subject to many influences and conditions. A detailed analysis of
tonnage figures over a period of many years will throw some light on the
matter, but will not furnish the complete answer.
Because of the conflict which has developed in Korea, there has been an
immediate increase in the volxime of traffic moving through San Francisco.
But, entirely aside from emergency conditions, the Committee was told that
large volumes of freight may be attracted for movement through San Francis-
co by a better coordinated and broader program of advertising, publicity and
solicitation than that conducted in the past. It has not been the Committee's
function to measure the full potential of traffic for San Francisco Harbor.
Nevertheless, its members are convinced that greater promotional efforts
are fully justified even during the Korean emergency in order to establish
San Francisco's advantages for recognition by shippers throughout the nation
and world when the emergency is over.
FINANCES: The facilities under control of the Board of State Harbor Commis-
sioners had a book value of $84,977,383.82 as of June 30, 1949. Current assets
amoiinted to $8,280,545,55. Funded debt was $23,153,000.00, against which
sinking funds of $8,122,503.71 had accximulated.
Issuance of bonds can only be authorized by the State Legislature, subject to
voter approval at a general election. Actual issuance is governed by a specially-
constituted bond committee, which fixes the date and amount of the issue, the in-
terest rate and the maturity date. Only $3,000,000 of authorized bonds remain
to be issued and sold.
Revenues are obtained solely from rentals, dockage, wharfage, wharf de-
murrange and other sources as set forth in the Board's tariff and from
switching and other services rendered by the State Belt Railroad. By law, the
Board has always been prohibited from collection of greater charges than
necessary for the performance of its prescribed duties and for bond interest
and redemption. In other words, the Board has been prohibited from piling up
any large surplus.
The Board never has had the benefit of any tax subvention; the facilities now
existing have not cost the taxpayers of the State one penny. In contrast, a num-
ber of municipally-owned ports, both in the Bay Area and elsewhere, have the
benefit of tax subvention, or revenue from sources other than port operations „
A notable example of the latter is the royalty from petroleum production on
harbor properties at Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbor.
Since the Board is literally compelled to operate within its income and
since its charges are not only held down by competition but are now as high as
the traffic will bear, it is clear that only substantial increases in traffic and
resulting increases in revenue or additional bonds will provide the capital
necessary to make vital, large-scale improvements in the Port's facilities »
Following is a statement of income and expense for the fiscal years ended
June 30, 1930, 1940 and 1949:
Fiscal Year ending J\ine 30:
1930 1940 1950
including Rentals $3,145,600.50 $2,434,069.61 $4,118,218,24
Non-Operating Revenue 50,456.17 49,700.76 264,302.80
Interest from Sinking Fxinds 19,709.45 120,596.25 120,190.00
Bond Sale Premivims - - -
Total Revenue $3,215,766.12 $2,604,366.62 $4,502,711.04
Operating and Administrative
Expense $ 1,591,050.79 $1,616,197.15 $3,147,843.52
Bond Interest and Discount 742,908.88 772,120.00 865,645.27
Uncollectible Accounts 1,398.27 692.62
Total Expense $2,335,357.94 $2,389,009.77 $4,013,488.79
Depreciation $ 880,408.18 $ 215,356.85 $ 489,222.25
* Depreciation - - 784,025.60
Loss - - 294,803.35
* Note: Depreciation not carried as an expense item in 1940 and 1930 although
reserves for depreciation, established when port properties were appraised
and revalued in 1929, appeared in the Board's statement of Assets and
OTHER SAN FRANCISCO BAY REGION PORTS: During recent years, a number of
ports with excellent terminal facilities have been developed in the San Francisco
Bay Region. These include Alameda, Oakland, Redwood City, Richmond, and
Stockton. Traffic in tons of 2000 pounds has been as follows, with comparable in-
formation for San Francisco:
Oakland (Howard Terminal)
Alameda (Encinal Terminals)
Richmond (Parr Terminals)
The ports which have been emamerated reflect a wide variety of control and
operating practices. The major facilities at Oakland are operated under the direc-
tion of a Port Commission which is a part of the mimicipal government. Other
diversified facilities on the Oakland waterfront are operated by Howard Terminal,
a private corporation.
At Alameda, the port facilities are operated by Encinal Terminals.
The major marine terminal facilities at Redwood City are an adjunct of the City
While much of the Port of Richmond has been developed by the city, other term-
inals have been developed by the Parr-Richmond Terminal Company and all of the
public marine terminal facilities are operated by this corporation which has a
leasehold on the city-owned properties.
Most of the facilities at Stockton were provided through the proceeds of a city
bond issue, but the Port is now operated under the jurisdiction of the Stockton Port
District and its Commission.
All of these ports have varied facilities, some of which have been provided to
specialize in the handling of certain types of cargoes and all of which have capaci-
ties in excess of current normal demands,, The publicly owned harbor improve-
ments have generally been made through the proceeds of bond issues which are
serviced through tax monies rather than through income from operations.
While any conclusion would simply be a matter of opinion, it appears that man-
agement of some of the ports in the Bay Region has been more aggressively con-
ducted than that of San Francisco proper and that the economic welfare of all of
the commvmities and ports within the region is interdependent. Therefor, it is to
San Francisco's interest to see all of the Bay Region ports progress and prosper.
CARRIER AND TERMINAL RATES AND CHANGES: Probably no other single fac-
tor -- such as services, facilities, trade customs, friendships -- has as much in-
fluence on the routing of passenger and freight movements as their cost. While
definite efforts should be made to attract the movement of passengers to and from
and through the Port of San Francisco by water, freight traffic was given the
major attention of the Port Promotion Program Committee and this is the primary
subject considered herein.
Fundamentally, rates and charges are covered by published tariffs which are
filed with and subject to the jurisdiction of regulatory authorities such as the
California Public Utilities Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission and
the Federal Maritime Board (formerly the Maritime Commission). The nature and
levels of the charges and rates are the results of evolution representing something
of a balance between the minimum that will sustain the facilities and services of
the carriers and terminal operators, and the maximum that will attract and hold
traffic. Competitive forces also have a strong influence.
So far as marine terminals are concerned, there are wide variances in their
histories which are reflected in the rates and charges to which they are entitled
and the manners in which they are assessed. In many cases particularly in the
Pacific Northwest and on the Atlantic Coast -- marine terminals were provided
historically by land and/or water carriers; and costs of their establishment, main-
tenance and operation are covered by what are commonly considered to be the
"long haul" rates.
In other instances, particularly in California, marine terminals have been es-
tablished, maintained and operated directly or through other parties by the state,
cities, port districts and private companies which do not participate in the "long
haul" carrier revenues. Consequently, the charges provided for in the tariffs are
levied in various ways but, in the last analysis, are borne by the freight.
According to statements made to the Committee, levels and methods of billing
terminal charges -- wharfage, handling, carloading and unloading, etc. -- have di-
verted cargoes from San Francisco and other Pacific Coast ports.
Consequently, while the fundamentals of the circumstance cannot be changed,
many refinements in the level of the rates and the methods of assessing them can
be accomplished and would result in more business for the Port.
This was demonstrated twice in the course of the Committee's activities. In
one instance, the Harbor Board published new items in its tariff providing for the
equalization of its wharfage charges with those of competitive ports on certain long
haul traffic. In the other example, rail and water carriers, except the Hawaiian
lines, have agreed to absorb wharfage and car unloading charges on transcontinental
traffic which will eliminate separate billings directly against shippers of a type
that were \inexpected, not understood and negative so far as the attraction of traffic
Carrier tariffs, as has been indicated, are the product of evolution which never
ceases. As ports have become more aggressive, they have stimulated the refine-
ment of tariffs to influence the routing of traffic. While many land and water car-
rier rates to and from San Francisco have been found just and reasonable and are
competitive with those available to and from other ports, business conditions are
constantly changing and call for tariff adjustments to protect the position of the
Port of San Francisco, Many adjustments are continuously being processed but
there must be constant search for further opportunities along that line. Analyses
of rate structures should be expanded so that corrective steps can be taken in order
to give a current picture of San Francisco's competitive position in relationship to
(a) other ports of the Bay Region, (b) other ports on the Pacific Coast and (c) other
ports on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. Concurrently, the foreign and domestic
areas which may be served at an advantage, or at least on an equal basis, by the
Port of San Francisco should be clearly defined and exploited in all promotional
For many years, the Chamber's Transportation Department has taken an active
interest in port and terminal charges, as well as in the rates of all types of car-
riers to and from this and competing ports. It has participated in numerous formal
cases involving such rates and charges before the Interstate Commerce Commis-
sion, the former Maritime Commission and the Public Utilities Commission of
California. It has also participated in many conferences with carrier groups, and
has supported scores of individual rate proposals which were deemed beneficial
to the Port, and on the other hand, has opposed many which appeared detrimental.
However, it should be pointed out that on the Pacific Coast alone, there are
upward of twenty shipping conferences governing ocean rates in various trades. An
even greater number are functioning on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Equally nuna-
erous are the railroad and truck rate bureaus. All can and do process rate propos-
als which may affect this or competing ports, and the aggregate number of such
proposals rxins into the hxindreds at any given time. Such proposals frequently
involve conflicting interests which are difficult and sometimes impossible to recon-
The Chamber's Transportation Department, with its limited personnel and bud-
get, finds it impossible to keep abreast of every rate proposal and tariff change, or
to take effective action on all of them. This requires a larger organization and
greater resources than are presently available.
CARRIER AND TERMINAL FACILITIES AND SERVICES: It was not the function of
the Committee nor is this the place for a complete analysis of all of San Francis-
co's carrier and terminal facilities and services. It is sufficient to report that, as
in the case of rates and charges, the facilities and services are not subject to
revolutionary innovations, but to continuous improvement and adaptation and com-
pare favorably with those which are available at other ports.
Therefore, comment under this heading may be condensed into three parts:
Improvements, Apparent Deficiencies, and Services related to handling.
IMPROVEMENTS: While the Harbor Board has spent time, effort and funds to
publicize Port improvements and they may be well known to some present and
potential shippers, the Board's improvement program has been more notable
thaii generally recognized. This is evidenced by the Foreign Trade Zone, ship-
side refrigeration facilities, the Islais Creek grain terminal with its bulk-
handling equipment, work which is under way for the Matson Navigation Co. on
piers 30, 32 and 35, the Mission Rock Ternninal which is leased to the American
President Lines, preliminary work on the site of the first unit of the World
Trade Center and negotiations which recently have been concluded with the
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway for the long-range relocation of its San
Francisco ferry, yard and related facilities.
Greater efforts should be made to inform the public about the constant im-
provement of San Francisco's waterfront facilities because it seems to be more
difficult to make good news travel than reports of less favorable happenings.
Although the improvements which have been made recently on the water-
front, or are planned, are notable, the Committee was not acquainted with any
master plan for continued improvements for execution in stages as demands
grow or funds become available. Such a plan would engender shipper and public
interest and give assurances that no opportunity is to be lost.
During World War II, ports throughout the nation were improved as to facili-
ties and otherwise by Federal agencies in connection with the War effort. Be-
cause of its extensive facilities, probably the Port of San Francisco afforded the
greatest service of any port in facilitating War traffic. And yet, few improve-
ments in the Port's facilities were made by the Government. During the present
emergency, it is possible that traffic may be expedited if additional or improved
facilities are created at San Francisco by the Government. Such possibilities
should not be overlooked.
DEFICIENCIES; Most of San Francisco's terminal facilities are finger-type
piers -- covered wharves with shipside aprons -- extending from the shore out
into the Bay. Practically all of them were planned and many of them built before
the motor truck and highway freighting developed. Use of present facilities can
be stimulated, however, by (a) their better adaptation to use by trucks, and (b)
provisions for the scheduling of truck movements.
While congestion on marine terminals may occur regardless of facilities and
scheduling, some costly tying-up of labor, truck equipment and freight on the San
Francisco waterfront was reported. Remodeling of piers 30 and 32 will demon-
strate the feasibility of adapting existing improvements to more efficient and
economical truck-use, and some truck operators explained that they did (and
others could) avert undue delays on the waterfront by proper advance notice to
wharf operators as to arrival schedules or special arrangements for the dis-
charge of line-haul equipment at warehouses away from the waterfront and then
transfers to wharves.
The latter practice is not particularly economical, but it does appear that
Port and wharf lessees could make truck movements more efficient and econom-
ical to themselves and to truck operators by inducing the latter to give advance
delivery notice to wharfingers.
FREIGHT HANDLING: The increasing costs of handling freight between wharves
and ships have grown in importance with respect to the influencing of freight
routings. Such costs have been at the root of inland waterway and coastwise
traffic shrinkages. Therefore, the subject must be one of constant research and
observation in order that the Port willhave the benefits of technological and
other freight-handling developments.
In this field are the pallets - small, portable platforms on which freight may
be moved to, on and from land and water carriers by fork-lift trucks and slings.
Packaged freight may be handled in multiples rather than singly by use of
pallets. Ownership of pallets varies, but it generally vests in the shipper and at
some point he frequently wants thenn introduced into the flow of traffic or re-
captured from it.
The dock or marine terminal may be this point. The consequent problems
and their solution demonstrate how Port services can be improved. Much of
the freight which should move outbound through San Francisco originates at Bay
Area factories. Common practice for products which can be palletized would be
to move them to and discharge them on San Francisco wharves on pallets where
they remain until the freight is loaded onto a ship, when the owner wants to re-
capture his pallets. Conditions on San Francisco piers were such that owners
could not easily reclaim their pallets and, in fact, lost some. Obviously, they
had justifiable complaints.
In order to induce pallet-borne traffic, the Harbor Board has instituted, at
its own expense, a service for the collection and segregation by brands of pal-
lets as they accumulate on the San Francisco waterfront so that they may be
picked up at a central point for return to shippers.
LAB OR -MANAGEMENT RELATIONS: The San Francisco waterfront for many
years was the scene of labor's efforts to improve working conditions and wages.
As a result, there were controversies between San Francisco waterfront employers
and the \inions to such an extent that national and international attention was at-
tracted. Views of spokesmen before the Committee varied as to the extent of the
effect of these controversies on Port traffic.
Such controversies affected all Pacific Coast ports, but because San Francisco
is the headquarters of the employers and \inions involved, attention was unduly
focused on this Port.
The Committee learned that during the past two years it has been demonstrated
that maritime and waterfront labor conditions can be stabilized, efficiency in-
creased and stoppages averted. Shippers must be informed of this in order that
they may know that the flow of their traffic through the Port will not be impeded.
Concurrent with improved management-labor relations, labor has become con-
scious of its responsibilities to and dependence for employment on the shipping
public. Its spokesmen have forcefully expressed labor's desire to participate in
activities to stimulate growth and progress of the Port. Provision must be made
for labor's representatives to participate in promotional activities which attract
traffic and stabilize and increase waterfront employment opportunities.
In this connection, it should be recognized that, in addition to longshoremen, the
waterfront involves ship personnel, car loaders and unloaders , checkers, truck
drivers, operating engineers and a variety of specialized skills.
SURVEYS AND REPORTS : In the course of the Committee's work, it was observed
that many agencies are compiling and publishing, to one degree or another, statis-
tical and other information about water commerce and Harbor operations. How-
ever, too little has been done to coordinate data from different sources, and make
the facts comparable and available for wide distribution.
The best source of water commerce data historically has been the Corps of
Engineers of the United States Department of the Army. However, there have been
great lags between the dates when the commerce moves and the time when the fig-
ures are available. Such lags should be reduced.
Segregation of the Army's figures for coastwise traffic has been requested by
the Chamber and the Harbor Board so that the tonnages moving in coastwise, inter-
coastal and non- contiguous possession trades may be determined.
Other data which are available from the United States Department of Commerce
are more timely, but are not comparable with Army reports because they princi
pally cover exports and imports by custom districts and may therefore include
Other figures are issued by steamship conferences, port authorities and other
agencies, but require careful interpretations before being comparable. Limited
knowledge of data sources easily results in misleading comparisons for public in-
Shippers are influenced in their traffic routings by facts which must be coordi-
nated from many authoritative sources and the public and the Port would benefit if
publicists, advertisers and solicitors could be supplied concise, dependable and the
most current information possible by a centralized agency.
Such an agency could develop) terminal news, significant traffic data, delineate
Port service areas and name present and potential shippers who merit the commiin-
ity's attention. Subject to further studies by such a group, comparative , long range
information should be readily available about tonnages and commodities by trades to
indicate relative traffic trends as to San Francisco, on the one hand,, and, on the other
hand, other ports of the Bay Area and the Pacific, Gulf and Atlantic coasts.
TRAFFIC SOLICITATION : Following the enactment of enabling legislation some
years ago, the Harbor Board intensified solicitation of traffic to move through the
Port of San FranciscOo Under the prevailing State laws, however, some handicaps
are still placed upon employees of the Board in soliciting traffic and this situation
should be remedied through the participation of a comm\inity-agency»
Because of the great field to be covered in behalf of the Port, the maximum
personnel which can be provided for this purpose by the State Board should be sup-
plemented. With additional personnel available, representatives of the Board and a
community agency could coordinate their direct solicitation of traffic which should
produce great results in proportion to the cost of the solicitation.
The extent to which Port facilities will be taxed during the Korean or other
emergencies is not known. However, because of the programs being conducted by
other ports to attract commercial traffic, there should be no delay in establishing
and maintaining contacts with present and potential ocean shippers who may use the
Port of San Francisco most advantageously.
In addition to direct solicitation to build Port traffic, it would appear that ef-
forts of the Chamber's Industrial Department to attract new factories to San Fran-
cisco could be supplemented through the cooperation of the Board of State Harbor
Commissioners. New factories to process materials from foreign and domestic
sources and to produce goods for overseas and United States markets are great
builders of port traffic. The port authorities in other cities are among the leading
solicitors of new industries.
Many agencies other than the actual port operators benefit from the movement
of commerce through San Francisco by water. These agencies include traders,
banks, railroads, steamship companies, truckers, insurance companies and many
others. Many of them maintain business solicitors in the areas which the Port of
San Francisco may serve advantageously. The Committee was told that they would
like to be helpful in attracting commerce for the Port and it is suggested that steps
be taken through publications, forums, panel discussions or otherwise, to keep these
men abreast of developments in connection with the Port in order that they may be
helpful to shippers elsewhere as to the advantages of San Francisco's rates, ser-
vices and facilities.
Representatives of these cooperating agencies have indicated their interest in
being informed in detail about the Port and its related services and a central
agency should be charged with the responsibility of capitalizing on their interest.
PUBLICITY AND ADVERTISING : While all publicity and advertising on behalf of
the Port should have the principal objective of attracting traffic, it should be so
designed to have two effects: One, directly influencing those who route traffic; the
other, infornaing the general public which indirectly influences traffic by being
fanniliar with the Port, its facilities, services and rate developments. Obviously,
the nature and distribution of literature will be governed by the international situa-
tion, but, unless world conditions beconne much more acute than they are now, there
will be millions of tons of freight moving by water which could be handled most ef-
ficiently and economically if routed via San Francisco.
While being far more productive in informing and influencing shippers and
"selling" the Port, an intensified publicity and advertising program would probably
be no more expensive than present efforts. Economies in coordinating, centralizing
and scheduling would make the difference.
SUMMARY: For convenience, the substance of what precedes and other information
has been condensed in a Summary -- Conclusions and Recommendations — begin-
ning on Page 1 of this report.
PORT PROMOTION PROGRAM COMMITTEE
Dwight K. Grady, Chairman
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